FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

SCOTUS To Decide Whether Officers Need Warrant To Conduct Sex Abuse Interviews at School

October 21, 2010  | 


The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to render a decision on whether law enforcement officers or social workers need to obtain a warrant in order to interview a child at school about sexual abuse claims.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Camreta v. Greene, an Oregon case centering on a whether a child protective services caseworker and deputy sheriff violated the Fourth Amendment by interrogating a child who alleged sexual abuse without a warrant, exigent circumstances or parental consent. The interrogation lasted two hours and took place in a private office at the child's school.

In Camreta, the state of Oregon received a report that a 9-year-old girl was being abused by her father at home. Deschutes County (Ore.) Sheriff's Deputy James Alford and caseworker Bob Camreta interviewed the child at her school.

The child's mother was not informed of the interview and didn't consent to it. No warrant or other court order was obtained prior to the interview. Based on the interview and other information Camreta had gathered, he believed that the child's father had sexually abused the child.

The father was indicted on six counts of felony sexual assault of the child and the other daughter. The state eventually obtained custody of the two children and interviewed and examined them while in custody. The children's father later went to trial on charges of sexual abuse, but the jury did not reach a verdict. Instead of a retrial, the father accepted a plea.

At the Ninth Curcuit court, Camreta and Alford argued that even if they violated the Greene's constitutional rights by interviewing the child in school without a warrant, they are entitled to qualified immunity. The Ninth Circuit held that Camreta and Alford violated the constitutional rights of Green and the girls by conducting the investigation without a warrant, a court order, exigent circumstances, or parental consent.

The Ninth Circuit also ruled that Camreta and Alford can't be held liable in damages because they have qualified immunity. Oral argument in the Supreme Court chambers is expected to take place early next year.

Read the full update at FedAgent.com.

Tags: Sex Crimes, Search and Seizure, Fourth Amendment


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

1981MARDET @ 10/21/2010 8:33 PM

How ca there not be exigent circumstances if this is an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse by a parent?

Steve Rothstein @ 10/21/2010 8:46 PM

How can I violate a suspect's rights by interviewing a victim? Where would I get a warrant to interview a victim and what probable cause do I list on the warrant affidavit?

I think this case is so weird that I am not surprised it is from California.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Teen Convicted of Killing Off-Duty Texas Officer
The jury deliberated for about five hours Monday before finding 19-year-old Juan Antonio...
Texas Cop Killer Gets Death Penalty
A jury has decided the punishment for the man convicted of killing a Bellaire, Texas,...
Bratton Asks New Yorkers to Stop Interfering with Arrests
"There is no denying on the videos which have surfaced . . . what is seen is interference...
Video: Illinois Officer Fired for Shooting Little Girl's Dog
A police officer in Hometown, Ill., has been fired days after fatally shooting a dog in...
Video: Nevada Officer Stabbed, Suspect Killed
The officers and the man got into a confrontation and the man stabbed one of the officers...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine